End Public Funding of Catholic Schools

End Public Funding of Catholic Schools

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Michelle Belle started this petition to Justin Trudeau and

We, the people of Canada, are calling on the Government of Canada, and the governments of Ontario, Saskatchewan and Alberta to end all public funding of Catholic schools for the following five reasons:

·      Violence against Indigenous children

·      Widespread sexual abuse 

·      Discrimination against people of minority religions

·      Discrimination against LGBTQ+ students

·      An unnecessary burden on taxpayers

1. Violence Against Indigenous Children

In the past month, the remains of over 1000 Indigenous children have been found at residential school sites across the country. It is estimated that thousands more will be unearthed. It is well known that these schools, which were run by the Catholic Church, with the full force of government behind them, have been responsible for some of the worst acts of violence against children that have ever been witnessed in this nation. Children were forcibly taken from their homes, physically, sexually and emotionally abused by priests and nuns, and killed en masse. It is deplorable that our federal and provincial governments continue to provide public money to these institutions given the egregious crimes that have been committed by Catholic officials.

2. Widespread Sexual Abuse Problems

In addition to the acts of violence that have been committed against Indigenous children, it is well known in this country that the Catholic church has been responsible for widespread sexual abuse. Sexual abuse cases have been witnessed in every single province of Canada since the 1960s at rates not seen in other institutions. Some of these sexual abuse cases involve priests who molested children in their churches and others involve teachers and priests who sexually assaulted students in Catholic schools. It is unconscionable for a government to enable an institution with sexual abuse problems to work with children.

3. Discrimination Against Minority Groups

As a democratic nation, we are also opposed to the public funding of Catholic schools because of the xenophobia, and dogma that these schools promote in our communities. Catholic school boards are allowed to deny anyone who is not baptized as a Catholic the right to study in their public elementary schools. Most Catholic school boards make formal exceptions to this policy for members of the United Church, the Anglican Church, Lutheran Church, Presbyterian Church, etc. In comparison, minority religions, such as Aboriginal Spirituality, Baha’is, Buddhists, Jews, Muslims, and Sikhs, to name only a few, can be arbitrarily denied entrance into these schools. The government backed policies that embolden Catholic boards with the power to discriminate against minority groups constitutes a blatant violation of religious and educational rights. It also promotes an elitist system whereby Catholic schools can pick and choose their students.

4. Discrimination Against LGBTQ+ Students

We are also concerned about the treatment of LGBTQ+ students in Catholic schools. As a pluralistic society that is premised upon human rights and equality, Canadians cannot accept a school system that views homosexuality as a disorder. In a diverse and democratic nation such as Canada, there is no room for a publicly funded education system that promotes only one worldview and denies the realities of others. This breeds intolerance in our society and it has no place in the education of our children.   

5. Unnecessary Tax Burden

Catholic schools are placing an unnecessary financial burden on Canadian taxpayers. To run Catholic schools in this nation it requires a duplication of several services including school boards, curricula, busses, buildings, administrative personnel, etc. Professor Philip White noted in his recent opinion piece that Ontario alone could have an annual savings of $1.5 billion annually if the Catholic system was absorbed by the public one. Canadians can no longer tolerate the government wasting our money to protect an institution that provides little value to the public.

DEMANDS: We, the people of Canada, will no longer tolerate the egregious waste of public funds that is currently directed towards Catholic schools. We demand that the government end all funding to these schools and build a public system that all children across Canada can access without discrimination. We demand a system that is premised upon human rights, human dignity, equality for all and safety for children. We will no longer tolerate financial ties between our governments and Catholic institutions.

0 have signed. Let’s get to 7,500!
At 7,500 signatures, this petition is more likely to get a reaction from the decision maker!